ST. PETERSBURG, July 28. /TASS/. Russia is not connected with the situation regarding the coup in Niger, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who also serves as Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Syria, told TASS.
"No, this has nothing to do with Russia. We never interfere in [other country’s] internal affairs," he said on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Forum, commenting on Western media stories about the alleged role of Russian agencies in the events, including within the context of rallies where Russian flags were seen in Niger’s capital city.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened in Africa," Bogdanov went on to say. "And I am afraid that it will not be the last . Such are the internal processes there. And, of course, many questions arise. But it shows that in recent years, the socio-economic situation in many African countries has been, of course, far from ideal," the senior diplomat said.
The Russian envoy noted that in African countries "many are discontent among the military, among civilians, in society in general." "And hence such manifestations outside the constitutional environment in terms of a change in power. We will follow the developments," Bogdanov summed up.
Mutinous soldiers in Niger announced late on July 26 that they had removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power, closed the country’s borders and suspended the Constitution. They set up the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, which assumed all powers of government. In a statement broadcast on national television, the mutineers promised to guarantee the personal safety of former government officials. General Abdourahamane Tchiani has declared himself head of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland created in Niger.